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Arkansas Nursing Home Negligence Case Settlements & Verdicts (Case Valuation)
Here is some information about nursing homes in Arkansas and lawsuits against them for harm that residents have suffered. In the event that your loved one has been injured in an Arkansas nursing home, the attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center can help your family receive financial compensation if the nursing home has not provided the proper care.
Statistics About Arkansas Nursing Homes
Unfortunately, Arkansas nursing homes do not have the best record of quality of care at their facilities. According to the database ProPublica, over 40 percent of the nursing homes in the state have had serious violations during their survey period. Roughly 15 percent of the nursing homes have received payment denials from Medicare, which is a suspension of payments for new patients in response to unremedied violations.
Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare shows that there are 230 nursing homes in Arkansas. 58 of these homes received a one-star overall rating, which is the lowest possible score that a nursing home can be given. The percentage of one-star nursing homes in Arkansas is markedly higher than the national average. While there are nursing homes in the state that have received a five-star rating, the quality of care in Arkansas seems to be lower than the national average.
Perhaps in consideration of the quality of care issues in the state, the number of nursing homes in Arkansas has declined since 1995, even as the elderly population has increased. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 24,558 nursing home beds in the state in 2014. The state has one of the lowest occupancy rates in the country at just under 69 percent. The occupancy rate has decreased from 76 percent in 1995.
Arkansas Nursing Home Laws
Arkansas has several laws in place that protect nursing home residents. When these laws are violated, residents and their families can file suit against the nursing home. Like California, Arkansas residents can file class-action lawsuits against Arkansas’ nursing homes for understaffing because this can violate the state laws that are in place. Beyond the laws that govern long-term care in the state, nursing homes can also be sued for violating the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. There is a listing of residents’ rights that is included in Arkansas state laws, and nursing homes have faced suit when these rights have been violated.
Class Action Lawsuit Against an Arkansas Nursing Home for Understaffing
One such lawsuit was successfully filed in 2012. A nursing home chain with two facilities in the state was accused of chronic understaffing of their facility. This deprived the resident of adequate care and stripped them of their dignity since the activities of daily life were left untended in many cases. The suit was filed on behalf of residents of the two home and resulted in a lengthy legal battle between the sides. The judge ultimately approved an $8.4 million settlement. The claims that have been filed for payment thus far have exceeded $13,000 per resident. Residents can receive $44 per day that they were in the facility to compensate them for their loss of dignity.
Before filing a lawsuit against an Arkansas nursing home, check the for-profit status of the nursing home. A 2019 opinion from the Arkansas Supreme Court says that some nursing homes may enjoy charitable immunity from suit. In other words, if the nursing is being operated as a nonprofit charity, it may not be sued if certain factors of a test are met.
There have been several high-dollar verdicts against nursing homes in Arkansas. As you can see from the cases, Arkansas juries will not hesitate to give families large awards when the nursing home’s conduct and care is less than what it legally required. Seven figure verdict against skilled nursing facilities are not uncommon in the state. Below is a summary of some settlements and verdicts that plaintiffs have recovered for injuries that have been suffered in an Arkansas nursing home.
Verdicts and Settlements in Arkansas Nursing Home Lawsuits
Verdict for $30,812 (2018) – The resident died from a number of ailments including dehydration malnutrition, infections, and pneumonia. The family also alleged that the resident was physically and sexually abused. The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home did not give the patient the proper medical and physical care, failing to give timely and accurate assessment of the resident’s condition. When the resident’s condition worsened, the proper medical care was not given. While the family claimed that the Arkansas Residents' Rights statute was violated, that part of the claim was dismissed.
Verdict for $5.2 million (2013) – The resident was admitted to the nursing home with a history of an intra-abdominal abscess. The resident began to experience abdominal pain and nausea shortly after admission to the nursing home. The staff did note that the resident’s condition had changed and alerted the physician about the change. The physician directed that the resident be sent to the emergency room and sent the orders to the nursing home via fax. The fax arrived, but the fax was not seen by the nursing home staff until the next morning. By the time staff viewed the physician’s orders, the resident was found dead in her room. While the nursing home argued that it was the resident’s medical condition that caused her death, the jury found that they were negligent.
Jury Verdict for $1.988 million (2004) – The resident was being transported on the nursing home’s bus. While in the vehicle, the resident fell and hit her head. The resident died from the head injury. The bus was being operated by the nursing home employee, and the family claimed that the nursing home failed to properly train that employee. The lawsuit also alleged that the employee failed to properly strap the resident into the vehicle before starting the trip.
Jury Verdict for $250,000 (2003) – The resident was at the nursing home for five years and the lawsuit claimed that he did not receive the proper care for his circulatory problems and the symptoms from the stroke and cancer from which he previously suffered. In addition, the resident developed a pressure ulcer on his heel. The lawsuit claimed that, as a result of the nursing home’s negligence, the resident had to undergo an amputation below the knee.
Jury Verdict for $1.542 million (2001) – The resident suffered from a multitude of conditions that would be indicative of a lack of care. He had several recurrent urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers on multiple parts of his body, a head contusion and a hip fracture. The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home did not provide him with the proper care since it did not have the necessary staff to monitor him. In addition, the plaintiff claimed that he was neglected and abused and that the nursing home failed to properly train its staff. The nursing home unsuccessfully argued that the resident’s injuries were caused by other people and not its staff.
Jury Verdict for $750,000 (2001) – The resident suffered from multiple injuries. He had pressure ulcers on multiple places on both of his legs. This necessitated bilateral amputations of both of his legs above the knees. He also had black eyes and facial contusions and multiple lacerations on various parts of his body. The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home failed to adequately monitor his condition and failed to provide him with the proper nutrition and hydration. Moreover, the lawsuit alleged that the nursing home failed to uphold the resident’s dignity and notify the family as his condition changed.
Jury Verdict for $63 million (2001) – The resident was a 93-year old woman who died from malnutrition and dehydration at a nursing home. The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home failed to provide her with the appropriate care and did not properly feed, clean and hydrate her. There is nothing in the description of the case that indicates why this award was so high, but there is always a possibility that a jury will viscerally react to a nursing home’s culpable conduct and hit the nursing home with high punitive damages as happened here. On appeal, the judge reduced the verdict to $26 million, but this is still an incredibly large damages award from a nursing home lawsuit.
Plaintiff Verdict for $3 million (2000) – The resident had to undergo amputation of both of her legs due to gangrene and pressure ulcers. She also suffered from numerous broken bones. The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home failed to provide her with the proper supervision, care, nourishment and hydration. The family claimed that staff’s failure to reposition her as necessary caused the pressure ulcers and that the nursing home’s staff was not properly trained to care for the resident. In addition, the family claimed that they were not notified as the resident’s condition deteriorated. The lawsuit also claimed that nursing home staff that was incompetent and careless was not terminated even though the facility knew that the staff fell short of the required level of care.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured in an Arkansas Nursing Home? Get Legal Help Now
If your loved one has been injured in an Arkansas nursing home, the attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center can help. We can stand up to the nursing homes and their army of attorneys on your behalf to help you get the compensation that you deserve for the pain and suffering that your loved one has endured. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to schedule your free case assessment where we will review the facts of your possible case against the nursing home. After that, we will let you know how we believe that you should proceed.